‘I Can’t Live This Life Without God’— Country Singer’s Wife Pens Powerful Post 7 Months After Son’s Tragic Death

Amber Smith

Amber Smith, the wife of country singer Granger Smith, welcomed the new year by reflecting on the goodness of God in 2019, and how her faith in Him alone held and carried their family following the tragic death of their 3-year-old son, River.


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The 38-year-old took to Instagram with a lengthy post reflecting on the emotional rollercoaster of the last year.

“2019 — The year that brought me to my knees. The year our beautiful red-headed boy turned 3 and went Home. The year that same sweet boy saved two other lives. The year that broke my heart into pieces but also tempered my spirit,” the grieving mother captioned a gallery of photos.

The first photo is a gorgeous illustration by Harmony Design Shop, showing the Smith family holding hands. In the image, Amber and Granger are holding each other and two of their children, 8-year-old London and 5-year-old Lincoln. On the other side, Amber is holding hands with Jesus, who is holding the hand of their late son, River.


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She went on to recap some of the family’s milestones from last year, highlighting Lincoln starting school, the launch of their YouTube channel — The Smiths— moving to a new house, and her daughter losing three teeth.

Amber says in all of the highs and very low-lows of this past year, her faith is stronger than ever.

“The year that I became the closest to God I’ve ever been. The year I cried every day for 6 months straight,” she said.

Walking through the unimaginable grief of losing a child has brought Granger and Amber closer than ever before. Together they started the River Kelly fund in honor of their son. And in the seven months since he went home to Jesus, the couple have ministered to hundreds about grief and hope.

“The year my eyes were truly opened to what is important. The year we’ve never felt more love from our community. The year I found out that joy and grief can coexist. The year we dove back into the fire to help other grieving parents. The year that changed me. The year of the blue butterfly. The year I learned that I am not in control. The year that solidified that I can’t live this life without God,” she said.


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As she looked ahead to 2020, Amber acknowledged how painful it is to be starting a new year without their youngest child. Still, despite the pain, she is hopeful for what the Lord has for them in 2020.

“Through this sadness, I’m hopeful for all that is to come. My goals for the coming year are to grow the @theriverkellyfund and help as many people as we can, keep London and Lincoln thriving despite the heartache of the past year, grow in grace and faith with my Maker, share our story in the hopes of helping others, and be in the present moment because as much as we want to plan and dream, today is all we have,” Amber stressed.

She closed her post with an inspiring message of hope and appreciation for God.

“This moment. Each day, whether good or bad, is another gift from God. I hope to live it with gratitude and compassion for others. I hope to continue to surrender my battles because in my weakness He is my strength. I hope to forgive myself little by little. I hope to keep bringing people to the Kingdom and sharing the love of God that I have felt so strongly.”


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For more information on the couple’s organization and mission, visit riverkellyfund.org.

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Bri Lamm
Bri Lamm is the Editor of ForEveryMom.com! An outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure, she lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese all while capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras. Follow her on Facebook!